A Speech for my Sister

It's just been two weeks since my oldest sister's wedding and already I'm missing everyone - and the donuts (seriously, World's Fair Donuts are the best, and only 65 cents a piece!). So I decided I'd share my maid-of-honor toast with you all, just to keep the wedding spirit alive a little longer. And speaking of wedding spirit, it was only a week and a half after we sent Kirsten and Scott on their marry married way that my youngest sister and her boyfriend (who caught the garter!) got engaged. You can read their story here. But before we get caught up in another wedding whirlwind, enjoy my speech to my dear oldest sister.

I'm standing on the dance floor, mic in hand. The DJ gives me a nod, the room quiets, and I begin ...

Karrin also gave a speech
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carolyn, the second of the Pearson girls, and probably the person Kirsten has known the longest besides our parents.

And for those of you who already know me, you likely also know that I love to WRITE much more than I love giving speeches. So I decided to write Kirsten and Scott a letter that I’ll share with you now

Dear Kirsten,

It seems like just yesterday we were growing up in New Jersey; a group of four ragamuffin sisters. We’d traipse through the woods, build tree-houses and elaborate forts, and forever be on the quest for adventure.

Picture Sarah in here as well
I always loved having you as an older sister, but as a kid I was kind of frustrated I could never quite catch up to you in age. I mean, 13 months apart is practically twins, yet just as I was getting close enough, there you’d go and have another birthday.

But I loved that we were so close in age, mostly because it meant we were almost twins. Did I ever tell you how much I treasured our “twin-ness?” Although we have always looked somewhat alike, there was a time when we were around 10, that we looked so similar even I can’t tell us apart in photos. But however hard I tried, I could never get you fully on-board with embracing the whole “twin” thing. You either hated it, or more likely, were really good at feigning indifference, rolling your eyes as I traipsed downstairs just happening to wear the same exact red turtleneck and blue overalls. It was a fun game I’d play, but probably a good thing I outgrew it.

I was secretly tempted to show up in a white dress so we could be "twins" but good thing I stuck to the bridesmaid gown as planned!
As kids, we had a lot of fun being the “big girls.” Karrin and Sarah shared a room, which left you and me together in our own bedroom to plot our ongoing mission to extend bedtime. After we’d exhausted conversation while lying in bed, one of us inevitably crept to the door and down the stairs – which was always an invitation for the other to follow. We’d usually slink down the steps, avoiding the noisy spots, until mom discovered us and we had to reveal our “phantom ailments” – a painful pinky or an invisible bruise, or whatever reason we had for being out of bed. Luckily we both have husbands now who can keep us on track and enforce bedtime when need be.

Some of my best childhood memories are from our long car trips from New Jersey to South Dakota, where we’d devise games and methods of staying occupied, like creating a talk radio show, or designing our dream homes on paper. Of course you, the natural-born architect, used all the correct markings and symbols to indicate doors and windows, and I don’t know if you noticed, but I usually ended up copying your design – “three steps down to a window seat reading nook, that looks nice … “

The one thing that’s surprised me about you, Kirsten, is that for how organized and detail-oriented you are, you also have a bit of an unexpected fearless streak, that leads you to do things like rock climb, study abroad in Spain, or roughing it one summer in the Black Hills for an architecture workshop. And of course there are those lesser-known “wild” things you like to do that usually involve subjecting yourself to some sort of extreme cold. Skipping through the lake, barefooted on Thanksgiving – in Minnesota, for one.  Or when you were a kid, while the rest of us were off building snowmen, I distinctly remember you lying face down in the snow, just to see how long you could stand it. Turns out, pretty long.

Kirsten and Scott, I’m so happy you two found each other, I know you have many wonderful adventures ahead. And Scott, you now have an awesome partner-in-crime.

For the last five years my sisters have had a brother in law in their life thanks to my husband Evan. I’m so happy that today I finally have you as my first official brother-in-law. Welcome to the family.

Let’s raise our glasses to the happy couple and for many years of adventures to come. 

... and one more, because it's too funny not to share:
WHY am I making that face? I don't remember this. But I do remember trying to see around her veil ... 

Photos by Linda Rivard Photography in St. Louis


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